Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Decorating with Junk

This year, I am co-chairing the decorating committee for the 2010 ADDY awards put on by the American Advertising Federation of North Dakota (AAF-ND.) Our theme is all about eco-consciousness in advertising. I'm excited that there will even be an eco-award added to the lineup! The board wanted some unique decorating ideas that would reflect the theme, so they decided to tap my "things out of stuff" way of thinking. We sent out a message to AAF-ND members asking them to gather items such as old electronics, wine bottles (always abundant in the ad biz,) press sheets, newspapers, CDs, and other typical office castoff. The idea is that we take these would-be-discarded items and turn them into something interesting and beautiful to use on the tables as center pieces.

I picked up the last of the donations yesterday. I'm very excited about what we got! What's funny is that the businesses that donated were just as excited to get rid of the stuff. Win/win! Tonight the committee will be meeting to start deconstruction and hopefully get into some reconstruction as well. We have a very excited crew! I can't wait to start tearing apart some keyboards!

More to come!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Happy Birthday, Bubble Wrap!

Today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day in honor of bubble wrap's 50 years of providing protection and amusement. Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day (BWAD) was officially started by "Spirit 95” Radio, the FM radio station in Bloomington, IN in 2001. The day is celebrated the last Monday in January according to Sealed Air, the first company to make bubble wrap.

Wanna get into the bubble poppin' spirit? Sealed Air has an entire site,, dedicated to the fun side of the protective sheets. The site is filled with games and trivia. There is also a bubble wrap gift shop. But the most interesting section to someone like me is the 1001 Uses for bubble wrap! Gotta love a bubble wrap mod. There are also loads of Facebook fan pages and a great deal of Twitter chatter all about bubble wrap. I think I might celebrate by doing a little popping. But since I don't have a sheet next to me, this virtual version will do just fine.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hard Cover MacBook

When I see things like this, it creates a great deal of conflict in my head. Do I take the time to try and make it, or do I just fork over the cash and buy one. Either way, I can guarantee that it won't be long before I am carrying my MacBook Pro in a leather-bound book (rich mahogany smell and Merlin Olson sold separately.) Thanks for the link Phil! (twitter: @pleitch)

CHALLENGE!: Electric Range with Missing Door

I put it out the the Twitterverse... "Looking for a challenge. Name an object and I'll try to make something out of it." Well, I asked for it and I got it. I got two responses — a free space shuttle engine and a free electric range with missing door from craigslist. Although intrigued, my current workspace doesn't allow for a space shuttle engine, so I think I will go with the electric range. This being craigslist and all, I'm going to try my best NOT to imagine why this range is missing its door.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quickmod: Binder Clip

Need a quick way to display a photo? Affix the photo to card stock or other type of stiff backing. Clamp on a couple of binder clips and VIOLA! Instant frame.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Clock and Key

Very soon, the newest issue of ReadyMade will be gracing newsstands and mailboxes. That itself is exciting enough for me. However, this next issue has me extra giddy because my winning MacGyver Challenge: Old Encyclopedias will be featured! WOOHOO!!! Now, I don't want to spoil the new issue for anyone, so I will wait until it is out to post any additional photos. In the meantime I thought it would be fun to share a MacGyver entry that almost won. This piece was created and entered for the Key challenge. Apparently, I was one of two finalists. Of course, that could also mean that I was one of two entrants, but we will assume they received HUNDREDS of quality entries and mine just happened to be second best.

I love how this Eames-inspired piece turned out so much, I plan on creating more to sell on my Etsy site (coming soon!) I call the final piece "Clock and Key." See what I did there with the play on words? Get it? Okay, fine. Here is what I used...

- The lid of a sauce pan
- Copper welding rods
- A basic clock kit
- Keys

- Drill
- Two sets of pliers
- Hot glue (you may want to use an epoxy)

Drilling holes may not be necessary depending on the style of lid you use, but I found it really helped hold all the wire in place. Then I could just keep it all from sliding around with a bit of hot glue.

Unfortunately, when my piece was returned to me from ReadyMade, all the keys had fallen off the rods. If you plan on making something like this, I would suggest and epoxy or stronger glue for a more permanent hold.

I would also like to experiment a bit with creating some custom hands. I'm just not sure what material I should use yet.

I make things out of stuff.

For as long as I can remember, I have had a fascination with repurposing stuff that many consider scraps or garbage into things that are useful, beautiful or fun. I am a scavenger. I improvise with what I have within reach. I see opportunity in what others see as obsolete. I make things out of stuff.

Why fishmods? Most people know me by the nickname fish. Put that together with my love of modifying things and you get fishmods. My intention for is to inspire people to start looking at everyday objects a little differently. We live in an incredibly disposable world. Everything around has so much potential to do so much more. To extract that potential, we just need to change our perspective a little bit. Hopefully, you will find that perspective here.

I will be posting projects that range from the quick and easy to the very elaborate. Everything from toys to furniture will be covered on I won't get very far without some inspiration, so please feel free to share your creations as well. OR challenge me to see what I can do with a specific object.

Thanks for reading! You can follow on twitter too!